Salzburg, Austria

We decided to take a train- our favorite mode of transportation- from Vienna to Salzburg, where we would spend the next two days.  I love watching the scenery through the windows as we zoom by, being able to walk around, eat yummy snacks (ie chocolate), play card games, and even read a good book.  So nice.  

It took us a bit to find our apartment once we got to Salzburg.  Real life moment: we stayed in the literal worst part of the city.  Suffice it to say, it was NOT a touristy area.  The apartment was really dirty and the shower kept turning from scalding hot to freezing cold every other second (lots of screaming/crying from the kids during their showers).  All in perspective though, we LOVED Salzburg- its hard to describe in words what a gorgeous place this is.  

Its hard to separate "The Sound of Music" from the identity of Salzburg.  The iconic movie was filmed here and its full of familiar places because of it.  Let's begin with Mirabell Gardens, above, where the von Trapp family and Maria sang "Do Re Mi" while bouncing up the steps.  The gardens are beautiful and spill you out just on the other side of the Salzach River, where the Old Town lies.  We picked up some topfenstrudel and a brezel (yes, thats a bread pretzel and its amazing) for a quick snack and kept going across the river.

This is the massive and famous baroque Residenz Fountain, where Maria sang "I've Got Confidence".  And, if you look really closely, you can see the famous statue of Mozart in the background.

The churches in Austria are my favorite.  The designs of the outside are almost too beautiful to take in, beginning with the Salzburg Cathedral (below).  This was one of the first Italian Baroque buildings north of the Alps.  The church was built to remind visitors that Salzburg was the "Rome of the North" and was consecrated in 1628- although you'd never know it was that old since it is pristine.

We literally could not take our eyes off the ornate decor on the inside.  Definitely one of the prettiest interiors of churches we've seen.

The golden orb of the Kapitelplatz lies under the imposing eye of the Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of Europe's largest intact medieval fortresses (we'll get to it in the next post).

No square in Salzburg is complete without an old horse bath (above).  I love the willow trees flanking this one- so beautiful!  We walked ALL over this stunning city, admiring the charming architecture, perfect blue skies, cobblestone streets as well as the delicious smells wafting from the plethora of local bakeries .  We finished our walking tour on the Getreidegasse (where Mozart's birthplace stands) and talked ourselves into the cheapest (1 Euro/scoop!) and most delicious gelato for our first course of dinner. ;)  

St. Peter's Church (above and below) is the birthplace of Christianity in Salzburg and is also incredibly gorgeous on the inside.  It's neighboring restaurant, which shares its namesake, is said to be the oldest restaurant in Europe due to the fact that Charlemagne reportedly ate there in 803 AD. 

Do you see what I mean with their churches?!?!  I love them.  And the way they sit next to the mountains...I couldn't get enough. These are taken from a hill sitting beside the famous Festival Hall where Captain von Trapp sang "Edelweiss".  

Another horse bath...this one is also in a scene from "The Sound of Music" and sits on the Monchsberg cliff face.

I love all of the signs for the shops along the street (this is the Getreidegasse) and its filled with the most charming arcades too.


Our kids are such troopers...days on end spent in European cities isn't the most exciting for little kids.  They are the best at finding the fun in everything and having pretty good attitudes, for the most part.

Next up: Our Sound of Music Bike Tour and the Hohensalzburg Fortress!  Salzburg definitely deserves two posts.